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On Earth Day, Especially, Take Action to Ensure a Sustainable Future

Monday, April 22nd, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2024) Today, on Earth Day, the future of the planet and the health of all its inhabitants come into focus from numerous human and ecosystem health perspectives, with particular concern for the health of the next generation—as childhood cancer continues to be a leading cause of death from disease among children. Many studies demonstrate an association between environmental or occupational pesticide exposure and the risk of childhood cancer in offspring. Taking Action in Your Community: On Earth Day, Beyond Pesticides invites communities to join together in its nationwide campaign to convert parks to organic land management practices through the Parks for a Sustainable Future program. Through this program, Beyond Pesticides works with park managers, bringing hands-on horticultural support to eliminate petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers and instead nurture soil organisms to cycle nutrients naturally while creating resilient landscapes that resist weeds, insects, and disease. This program outlines the steps to become a parks advocate and how Beyond Pesticides works with communities committed to safe parks and playing fields for communities, children, and pets. One major impetus for the Parks program are the many studies that find prenatal and early-life exposure to environmental toxicants increases disease susceptibility. For decades, studies have […]

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Ten Years of Scientific Studies Find Association Between Childhood Cancer and Pesticide Exposure

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2024) Researchers at the National Institute of Pediatrics and National Polytechnic Institute found positive associations between pesticide exposure and heightened risk of certain childhood cancers. The finding is derived from a meta-analysis of 174 studies published between 2013 and 2023 and published in the International Journal of Molecular Science. The authors note, “Although [pesticide exposure] association with childhood cancer has not been fully demonstrated, we found that more than 80% of the epidemiological studies show positive associations [with forms of childhood cancer].” Approximately one third of identified studies (roughly 16) find positive relationships between prenatal and postnatal pesticide exposure with heightened risk of leukemia, neuroblastoma, and rare forms of cancer, such as Wilms tumor. For central nervous system (CNS) tumors, half of identified studies (roughly 24) found a positive relationship with pesticide exposure. The researchers call on further research regarding interaction between different pesticides and health impacts on cumulative exposure. The study is broad in scope, identifying various environmental pollutants and their associations with certain childhood cancers (e.g. radon exposure, air pollution, electromagnetic fields, indoor chemicals, and tobacco and alcohol). This Daily News focuses specifically on pesticide exposure. The researchers originally identified 6,172 studies through PubMed, however […]

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Disproportionate Pesticide Hazards to Farmworkers and People of Color Documented. . .Again

Friday, February 16th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2024) A report released in January, US pesticide regulation is failing the hardest-hit communities. It’s time to fix it, finds “people of color and low-income communities in the United States and around the world continue to shoulder the societal burden of harmful pollution.” More specifically, the authors state that “ongoing environmental injustice is the disproportionate impact these communities suffer from pesticides, among the most widespread environmental pollutants.” The report follows an earlier article by the same lead authors and others (see earlier coverage) on the long history of documented hazards and government failure to protect farmworkers from pesticide use in agriculture. In a piece posted by Beyond Pesticides earlier this week, the serious weaknesses in the worker protection standard for farmworkers are documented.   The latest report was led by Nathan Donley, environmental health science director at the Center for Biological Diversity and Robert Bullard, known as the “Father of Environmental Justice” and executive director of the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University in Houston. In addition to these authors, the 2022 review was coauthored by Jeannie Economos of the Farmworker Association of Florida, Iris Figueroa of Farmworker Justice, Jovita […]

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EPA’s Proposed Endocrine Disrupting Pesticide Review Called Deficient

Monday, February 5th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2024) Public Comment Period Ends February 26, 2024. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) never completed protocol for testing pesticides that disrupt the fundamental functioning of organisms, including humans, causing a range of chronic adverse health effects that defy the common misconception that dose makes the poison (“a little bit won’t hurt you”)—when, in fact, minuscule doses (exposure) wreak havoc with biological systems. After a nearly two decade defiance of a federal mandate to institute pesticide registration requirements for endocrine disruptors, EPA has now opened a public comment period ending February 26, 2024 and advocates are criticizing the agency’s proposed evaluation as too narrow. A detailed examination of EPA’s proposal can be found in draft comments by Beyond Pesticides.  Endocrine disruption as a phenomenon affecting humans and other species has been critically reviewed by many authors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can, even at extremely low exposure levels, disrupt normal hormonal (endocrine) function. Such endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC) include many pesticides, exposures to which have been linked to infertility and other reproductive disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and early puberty, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and childhood and adult cancers. EPA […]

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Pesticide-Intensive Agricultural Practices Lead to Elevated Childhood Cancer Rates in Brazil

Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, November 7, 2023) Two decades after the introduction of genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops and the consequential exponential growth in weed killers, Brazil is seeing an increase in childhood cancer. This is the conclusion reached in a comprehensive study spanning 15 years (2004-2019), “Agriculture Intensification and Childhood Cancer in Brazil,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in October. For the past 20 years, soybean herbicides have been killing and sickening children in the Cerrado and Amazon regions–where soybean cultivation is concentrated. The study reveals a link between an increase in soy cultivation and a spike in cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer affecting children, among indirectly exposed populations. Researchers identify pesticide-contaminated drinking water as the driving force behind the increased cancer rates occurring downstream from soybean sites.  In 2003, Brazil legalized its first official genetically modified (GM) crop, welcoming the era of GM soybeans and sparking a radical transformation in its agricultural landscape–for better or worse. The introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybean seed promised farmers an efficient and herbicide-resistant alternative to traditional crops. A significant shift occurred in the areas dedicated to soy cultivation in the Cerrado region, tripling from […]

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Childhood Leukemia Linked to Pesticides Used in Vineyards

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2023) A study published in Environmental Health Perspective finds the risk of acute childhood leukemia (AL), specifically acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), slightly increases with exposure to pesticides (i.e., insecticides and herbicides) from uses on vines, a crop subject to intensive pesticide use. Within 1 kilometer [km] of vineyards, the risk of ALL among children increases in areas with a higher density of vines. Although medical advancements in disease survival are more common nowadays, childhood AL remains the secondary cause of child mortality following physical injury. Furthermore, childhood leukemia survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. The etiology or cause of childhood AL involves the interaction of multiple components, including lifestyle and genetics; emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants (e.g., pesticides, air pollution, solvents, diet, etc.) play a role in disease. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues, resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Already, studies find low levels of pesticide exposure during pregnancy or childhood cause adverse health effects, from metabolic disorders to mental and physical disabilities. Moreover, […]

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All Pesticide Classes Increase the Risk of Central Nervous System Tumors in Children

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 21, 2023) A literature review published in CiĂȘncia & SaĂșde Coletiva finds environmental exposure to all classes of pesticides (fungicides, herbicides, insecticides) has an association with childhood astrocytoma (brain/central nervous system [CNS] tumor). CNS tumors represent half of all malignant neoplasms (tumors) in children. Although medical advancements in disease survival are progressing, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. Furthermore, childhood cancer survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. The etiology or cause of childhood cancer involves the interaction of multiple components that include environment, lifestyle and genetics. However, emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants like pesticides (e.g., occupational exposures, air pollution, pesticides, solvents, diet, etc.) affect disease etiology. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues, resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure, as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Moreover, several studies demonstrate an association between environmental or occupational pesticide exposure and the risk of childhood cancer. Considering that maternal pesticide exposure can have a stronger association with cancer among children than childhood exposure, and newborns can still encounter pesticides, it is […]

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Kids and Kidney Cancer: Implication for Prenatal Pesticide Exposure

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, November 10, 2022) A meta-analysis by the University Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB, Canada, adds to the plethora of research linking prenatal (before birth/during pregnancy) pesticide exposure to carcinogenic (cancer) tumor development. The analysis, published in Human & Experimental Toxicology, finds parental exposure to pesticides during the preconception (before pregnancy) or pregnancy period increases the risk of Wilms’ tumor (a type of kidney cancer) occurrence among children. Already, studies find low levels of pesticide exposure during pregnancy or childhood cause adverse health effects, from metabolic disorders to mental and physical disabilities. Although medical advancements in disease survival are more prominent nowadays, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. Furthermore, childhood cancer survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Moreover, a mother’s pesticide exposure can have a stronger association with cancer among a child than childhood exposure, and a newborn can still encounter pesticides. Therefore, it is essential to understand how pesticides impact the health and well-being of individuals during critical developmental periods, especially for latent diseases (e.g., cancers). The researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on case-control studies […]

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Exposure to Pesticides in the Womb Increases Risk Associated with Rare Eye Cancer Among Children

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2022) A study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health finds an association between retinoblastoma risk and prenatal exposure to pesticides. Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer, with over 200,000 cases in the U.S., most of which are children under the age of five. Despite occurring among offspring, this cancer is often not hereditary. Instead, a mutation in the RB1 gene during early development in the womb destabilizes and augments cell growth. Although the etiology or cause of childhood eye cancer involves the interaction of multiple components like lifestyle and genetics, emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants like pesticides (e.g., occupational exposures, air pollution, pesticides, solvents, diet, etc.) play a role in disease etiology. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Already, studies find low levels of pesticide exposure during pregnancy or childhood cause adverse health effects from metabolic disorders to mental and physical disabilities. While medical advancements in disease survival are more prominent nowadays, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. […]

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Parents’ Exposure to Pesticides Indicative of Childhood Cancer Risk among Offspring

Thursday, August 18th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2022) A study published in Environmental Research suggests occupational (work-related) exposure to pesticides among nonpregnant women and men may increase childhood cancer risk for offspring. Already, studies find low levels of pesticide exposure during pregnancy or childhood cause adverse health effects from metabolic disorders to mental and physical disabilities. However, few assess parental exposure’s impact on childhood disease risk outside critical development periods (e.g., pregnancy). Although medical advancements in disease survival are more prominent nowadays, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. Furthermore, childhood cancer survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. The etiology or cause of childhood cancer involves the interaction of multiple components like lifestyle and genetics. However, emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants like pesticides (e.g., occupational exposures, air pollution, pesticides, solvents, diet, etc.) play a role in disease etiology. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Moreover, several studies demonstrate an association between environmental or occupational pesticide exposure and the risk of childhood cancer. Considering maternal pesticide […]

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Pesticides Linked to Adult and Childhood Cancer in Western U.S., with Incidence Varying by County

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, June 28, 2022) There is a strong connection between pesticide use and cancer rates in the Western United States, finds research recently published by scientists at University of Idaho and Northern Arizona University. Two studies (here and here) published in the peer-reviewed journal GeoHealth used geospatial data and publicly available pesticide databases to uncover the relationship between chemical heavy agricultural practices and cancer in both adults and children. As the rate of chronic diseases like cancer continue to increase in the United States, and more and more studies find these diseases to be pesticide-induced, it is imperative for the public to put increased pressure on regulators and lawmakers to enact meaningful measures that eliminate pesticide use and the hazards these chemicals pose. Of the two studies conducted by the research team, the first study modeled the connection between pesticide use and cancer incidence for adults and children in 11 western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), while the second study focuses on childhood cancer rates in Idaho’s 44 counties. Both studies utilized databases established by public entities, including U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Pesticide National Synthesis Project database, EPA Pesticide Industry […]

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Words, “All life is interrelated,” and His Legacy Are Honored on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 17

Friday, January 14th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, January 14, 2022) On the annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.— MLK Day, Monday, January 17 — Beyond Pesticides honors his legacy by calling out ongoing environmental inequities, and calling on all of us to advance environmental justice. In his 1967 Christmas sermon, Dr. King famously noted, “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” There may be no better description of what is at stake in environmental justice work — righting environmental wrongs that have disproportionate impacts on some groups of people. In its attention to the multitude of ways in which BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) populations face disproportionate risks and impacts, Beyond Pesticides works to ensure that all people are afforded circumstances that support their safety, health, and well-being. Rather than excavate the very long historical record of environmental injustice in the U.S., today’s Daily News Blog recalls several examples from the past year. It is impossible to begin that chronicle without first acknowledging that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has […]

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In Utero and Childhood Pesticide Exposure Increases Childhood Cancer Risk

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, September 1, 2021) A study published in Environmental Pollution finds the risk of acute childhood leukemia (AL) increases with prenatal and newborn exposure to pesticides (i.e., insecticides and herbicides). The study results support the hypothesis that chronic environmental pesticide exposure increases childhood leukemia risk up to two times. Maternal exposure has a stronger association with leukemia than childhood exposure. Insecticides and herbicides are of particular significance in increasing leukemia risk, especially for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Although medical advancements in disease survival are more prominent nowadays, childhood AL remains the secondary cause of child mortality following physical injury. Furthermore, childhood leukemia survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. Although the etiology or cause of childhood AL involves the interaction of multiple components like lifestyle and genetics, emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants like pesticides (e.g., occupational exposures, air pollution, pesticides, solvents, diet, etc.) play a role in disease etiology. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Already, studies find low levels of pesticide exposure during […]

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Biden EPA Reapproves Paraquat with Weaker Protections than Trump Administration Proposed

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

(Beyond Pesticides, August 10, 2021) President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under Administrator Michael Regan, is set to reapprove the highly hazardous herbicide paraquat with fewer protections than those proposed by the Trump administration. Despite strong links to Parkinson’s, and bans on the herbicide in the European Union, China, Brazil, and many other countries, EPA’s press release inexplicably states, “No direct one-to-one alternatives to paraquat are available.” The move is part of a string of actions that have pesticide reform advocates increasingly concerned that the Biden Administration is not living up to his initial promises to improve health and environmental protections. Paraquat is the most toxic herbicide still on the market. As EPA readily admits, one small sip of paraquat can be fatal. Apart from its acute toxicity, chronic exposure to the herbicide is strongly linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease. But its association with Parkinson’s is merely the most well-known health concern – the chemical is a likely carcinogen, harms the reproductive system, and damages organs like the kidney and liver. It is hazardous to birds and bees, and prone to leaching into groundwater, where it disrupts the health of aquatic ecosystems. The Trump administration’s decision to reapprove […]

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VOTE early. Bad Government Decisions Kill People and the Environment

Monday, October 19th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2020) The COVID-19 epidemic has made clear to the general public what we at Beyond Pesticides have been stressing since our inception—some populations have disproportionate risk of severe outcomes, exposures to toxic chemicals can affect susceptibility to disease, comorbidity increases risk, and bad government can kill you. As Trump declares that “unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,” we are reminded of Erik Jansson, who ran the National Network to Prevent Birth Defects and helped to convene the founding meeting of Beyond Pesticides, and took on then-Administrator of EPA Anne Gorsuch, calling her a “baby killer” because of policies that allowed exposures to toxic chemicals—exposures that endangered children and fetuses. Those were harsh words in the 1980s even when the Reagan administration’s environmental and toxics policies were tied to elevated harm to people, and children in particular. In today’s world, scientists and medical doctors are regularly linking elevated death rates from coronavirus to the federal government’s inadequate coronavirus policy and its attack on science. And, they are pointing to those in charge. Policies and decisions under the Trump administration that threaten the health of children and the unborn include: COVID-19 misinformation. […]

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Household Pesticide Use During Pregnancy Linked to Nephroblastoma Kidney Cancer

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2020) Home pesticide use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of a child developing the kidney cancer nephroblastoma, or Wilms’ tumor, according to research published in Cancer Epidemiology by a team of French scientists. Wilms’ tumor is one of the most common childhood cancers but has an inscrutable etiology. This study adds weight to the theory that pesticides are a driver of the tumor’s development, as pesticide use was more strongly associated than other widely investigated causes, including parental smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Families enrolled in an ongoing nationwide French study were questioned by phone about their lifestyle, including smoking habits, mother’s alcohol consumption, and household pesticide use. Participants were further segmented by their frequency of these risk factors, and pesticide use was narrowed down by type, including herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide use, as well as where the chemicals were used (indoor/outdoor). Researchers ultimately enrolled 117 families whose children developed nephroblastoma, and included 1100 families as a control. A regression analysis found no association between either parent smoking and incidence of the disease. Similarly, no pattern was found in the relation between maternal alcohol consumption and Wilms’ tumor. However, use of any […]

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Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Increases Pregnant Mother’s Risk of Her Child Developing Leukemia

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2020) Pregnant mothers living in areas where carcinogenic pesticides have been used are at increased risk of their child developing an acute form of leukemia, according to research published last month in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The findings are based on a review of pesticide use data in rural, agricultural areas of California, where many minority, low-income and farmworking communities live. Under current laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits the use of cancer-causing pesticides with an expectation that a certain number of cancers (anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,000,000, based on the pesticide in question) should be considered ‘acceptable risk.’ While past studies have shown similar connections between pesticide exposure in the womb and the development of childhood cancer, this is one of the first to utilize geographic information systems (GIS) data, rather than parental interviews on past exposures. Researchers used California public records of cancer incidence from 1998-2011, alongside statewide pesticide use reports (California is the only state to make this information publicly accessible and searchable). A list of 65 pesticides were investigated for their specific connection […]

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EPA Fails to Follow Congressional Mandate to Protect Children from Pesticide Exposure

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2020) Congress unanimously passed the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in 1996 to increase protections for children from pesticide exposure. Unfortunately, according to a new study published in Environmental Health, the law is not being employed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to its full capacity. For most of the 59 pesticides reviewed by the study, EPA did not apply an additional FQPA safety factor and thereby missed an opportunity to protect children’s health. In fact, FQPA solidified EPA’s reliance on risk assessment calculations and mitigation measures that consistently fall short of adequate levels of protection because of serious data gaps, a failure to consider exposure to mixtures and synergistic effects, and a bias against consideration of alternatives (alternatives assessment)  that show toxic pesticides to be unnecessary.  FQPA establishes a safety standard applied to all food commodities that considers specific risks for infants and children. The law requires EPA to assess the “aggregate risk” (considering exposure from multiple sources) and “cumulative exposure” to pesticides that have a “common mechanism of toxicity.” FQPA mandates “an additional tenfold margin of safety for the pesticide chemical residue and other sources of exposure shall be applied for infants and children […]

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Take Action: To Protect Children, EPA Must Decide Based on Science, Not Industry Lobbying

Monday, August 12th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, August 12, 2019) Once again, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected the evidence provided by independent scientists and sided with the pesticide industry promoting its products; this time, removing a safety for factor for children on some of the most widely used insecticides, synthetic pyrethroids. When EPA cannot do its job, it is time for Congress to step in. Tell Congress: To Protect Children, EPA Must Consider the Independent Peer-Reviewed Science, Not Bend to Industry Lobbying. In a move that challenges the preponderance of independent peer-reviewed scientific findings on children’s health, EPA recently stripped away protections that limit children’s exposure to class of chemicals associated with childhood cancer, autism other learning disorders, and asthma. The result of the agency’s actions will be a dramatic increase in the use of synthetic pyrethroids, insecticides found in indoor and outdoor bug sprays, bug bombs, and often used on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. EPA, under the leadership of former fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, is embracing the positions of the pesticide industry while ignoring independent science and health and environmental groups. In 2017, the agrichemical industry trade group, Croplife America, submitted comments to EPA during its review of synthetic pyrethroids. The organization urged EPA to rely on a […]

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Kids Carry Higher Levels of Glyphosate in Their Bodies than Adults, Study Finds

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, August 7, 2019) A study conducted by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) finds that children carry significantly higher levels of glyphosate in their bodies than their parents. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer Monsanto’s Roundup, has been identified as probably carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.  In the context of recent data from the American Cancer Society (ACS) indicating that pediatric cancer in the U.S. surged by almost 50% from 1975 to 2015, many parents are worried, and looking for ways to reduce their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other toxic pesticides. The study conducted by CEH enrolled eleven families from all over the U.S., testing levels of glyphosate in children’s urine as compared to their parents. Results showed that over 90% of participants had been recently exposed to glyphosate. In most child/parent pairs, the child’s body had surprisingly higher concentrations of glyphosate (up to 4 times that of the parent), supporting research that glyphosate poses a greater threat to children. Children may be more susceptible to glyphosate for a variety of reasons. Children are growing, so they take in more of everything (from food, to water, to pesticides) per pound of body weight. […]

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Dismissing independent Peer-Reviewed Science, EPA Allows Dramatic Increase in Children’s Exposure to Toxic Pesticides Pushed by Industry

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2019) In a move that challenges the preponderance of independent peer-reviewed scientific findings on children’s health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently stripped away protections that limit children’s exposure to a class of chemicals associated with childhood cancer, autism, and other learning disorders. The result of the agency’s actions will dramatically increase the use of synthetic pyrethroids, insecticides found in indoor and outdoor bug sprays, bug bombs, and often used on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. EPA, under the leadership of former fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, is embracing the positions of the pesticide industry while ignoring independent science and health and environmental groups. In 2017, the agrichemical industry trade group, Croplife America, submitted comments to EPA during its review of synthetic pyrethroids. The organization urged EPA to rely on a health model developed by a different industry group, known as the Council for the Advancement of Pyrethroid Human Risk Assessment (CAPHRA), in determining the “safety factor” to apply to children. “Safety factors” for children are required under a 1996 law, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), unless there is compelling evidence indicating the additional margin of safety is unnecessary. These factors generally require manufacturers to […]

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Bill to Ban Neurotoxic Chlorpyrifos Introduced in the U.S. Senate

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, July 27, 2017) Earlier this week U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill that would ban use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos. The Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act, S. 1624, comes one week after an appeals court refused to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a decision over whether to ban the chemical. Removing this neurotoxic insecticide from the environment would significantly reduce health risks for children and farmworkers in underserved rural communities, build pressure to address all toxic organophosphates, and help push U.S. agriculture in a more sustainable direction. As with other organophosphate class chemicals, chlorpyrifos, first registered in 1965 by Dow Chemical, is derived from nerve agents used during World War 2. The chemical is linked to a range of negative health and environmental outcomes that warrant its prohibition. Children are at particular risk from the chemical due to their developing immune, organ, and nervous systems.  As with other organophosphate nerve agents, the chemical acts on the body’s nervous system, inhibiting the movement of neurotransmitters called cholinesterase. Chlorpyrifos chemically binds to the site where cholinesterase would in the body, preventing normal nerve impulse transmission. […]

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In Letter to EPA on Atrazine Hazards, House Republicans Challenge Science, Call the Weedkiller Safe

Monday, November 7th, 2016

(Beyond Pesticides,  November 7,  2016) In a letter  last week on the widely used weedkiller  atrazine, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and 105 of his colleagues told Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that, “It would be irresponsible to greatly restrict one of the safest and most trusted herbicides on the market.” The  letter was triggered by EPA’s release in June of its  draft  Ecological Risk Assessment on atrazine, which found levels of concerns exceeded by as much as 200-fold for some organisms. Lawmakers indicated that the draft assessment in its present form, “Would have a significant impact on farmers and rural communities nationwide.” Despite a wealth of information to the contrary, they claim that restricting the use of atrazine would put an unnecessary financial burden on farmers. Atrazine, produced by Syngenta,  is the second-most widely used pesticide in the U.S., with over 73 million pounds applied each year. While Rep. Buck claims that atrazine is a safe chemical, years of research shows that the chemical poses unacceptable risks to human health and the environment.  Once applied, the chemical often washes into surface water and leaches into groundwater. Water contamination issues spurred community water utilities  across the […]

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